Page 1

Your guide to council services

Inside: your pull-out guide to activities in Camden this summer

 Handy council contact details  Sports and fitness | Summer 2019

Includes: four page newsletter for council tenants and leaseholders

100 YEARS of council housing  Local people  Local places

 Volunteering  Recycling

Proud to care? Find a job that suits you Live in north London and looking for flexible and rewarding work or training in the care sector? Or do you want to develop your skills and career within the care sector?

Visit Website launches 18 June 2019


Inside Inside

Making a difference Somers We make Camden Town

Local jobs


Contents Cover story 100 years of council housing 5, 13-16, 20-21

Now in Camden News and consultations


Housing Four page newsletter


Regulars How to… Day in the life Recycling Focus on… Housing news Working for Camden Local history The long read Why don’t you... Useful numbers Listings How to get into… My Camden

8 9 10 12 13 18 20 24 26 28 29 30 31

Features We make Camden Your new Mayor West End Project Making a difference Busting jargon

17 19 22 23 27

Published by Camden Council Distribution from 10 June 2019 Cover image: Vanessa Berberian

You can request your copy of the Camden magazine in large print, audio format or in another language by phoning 020 7974 5717. 4

@CamdenCouncil 020 7974 5717

Celebrating 100 years of council housing

Now in Camden

This issue we’re celebrating the centenary of the Housing and Town Planning Act, passed in 1919, which gave councils the power, and money, to build homes for their residents. Pictured on the cover are residents from Camden’s Grade II listed Ossulston Estate, in Somers Town. Estate resident, Rienzi Trento, said, “It was one of the best places to grow up. Everyone knew each other and the mums were strong – you felt protected as a kid when you played out there. One of my first memories is of opening the door and seeing 50 kids all playing cricket downstairs, and going to join in.” You can read more about Somers Town on p12, and about Camden’s proud history of council housing throughout this magazine.

We make Camden proud

Summer University is back Teenagers can choose from free courses in arts, sport and life skills at top local venues, when Camden Summer University returns from 25 July to 23 August. You can view courses online now and bookings go live on 19 June. It’s free to enrol if you’re 13 to 19 and either live in Camden, go to a local state school, or attend a council-run youth centre. Visit or call 020 7974 6543.

We’re delighted to be taking part in this year’s London Pride. Camden has a proud history of fighting for equality and progress and we’ll be standing with our LGBT+ community at the march on Saturday 6 July. We’ll also host other special events and tributes. Keep an eye out for more details on our social media: @CamdenCouncil 5

Now in Camden

Have your say Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

St Aloysius Primary School The Diocese of Westminster and governing body of St Aloysius Catholic Primary School are consulting on closing the school – the school has been getting fewer applications for places and has a falling number of pupils. If you have any comments please email staloysius@

Our Council Tax Reduction Scheme helps residents on low incomes to pay council tax. We spend over £25 million a year providing this support and we are committed to maintaining this investment to help our poorest households. However, the current scheme is complex, out of date and our administration costs are increasing. If we do not change the scheme those on Universal Credit will receive on average 9% less support. That’s why we are launching a consultation on a recommended new scheme for working-age households from 17 June until 15 September. We consider the proposed scheme to be simpler and fairer, and it would help us to provide long-term support.

Under the proposals, 10,000 out of work and low income households would still not need to pay council tax, at a time when most boroughs require a minimum contribution for all. In our proposed scheme, we estimate that 12,300 working-age households currently receiving support would get the same or more (81% of claimants). Around 2,900 in work households would be asked to pay on average £9 more council tax per week, based on earnings. Residents would be able to access support including for employment and childcare. By law we cannot change the scheme for pensioners. We are committed to taking on board your views in the design of the final scheme and your comments on our proposals generally. Find out more and take part at

Camden’s climate crisis fight Climate change emissions have fallen by 34% in Camden since 2005. We’re building on this progress by holding a Citizens’ Assembly in July, so that the Camden community can help define our future approach to the challenge. At the Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis, attendees will hear from leading climate scientists, community energy groups, schools and environmental experts about how climate change is already affecting Camden, and the approaches we could take to support global action to address the challenge. The assembly will put your environmental ideas and priorities at the top of the agenda. The community efforts will set the direction for a new Environment Plan for Camden, as well as leading to neighbourhood projects. 6

We want the assembly to hear the views of the wider Camden community too, and during June everyone will be able to share their ideas on the climate challenge at

Now in Camden

Get involved with Camden Alive Camden residents are teaming up with local artists to create Camden Alive. The stories of different Camden neighbourhoods will unfold through music, dance, food, fashion, design, performance and visual art and will then be showcased by the virtual Camden People’s Museum. The museum will be presented through an augmented reality app, and will illuminate and animate the stories, to show the vibrant individual and collective culture of Camden.

Camden were awarded a Cultural Impact Award to create Camden Alive, as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture.

To share your story and be part of the project, email camdenalive@camden. For the latest updates go to or follow @camdenalive on Twitter.

Money for communities The Camden Fund supports community organisations affected by HS2. The fund launched in May 2018, and so far over £1.6 million has been shared between 23 organisations.

Enter Camden in Bloom Camden in Bloom 2019 is now open for entries. Every bit of greenery makes Camden a better place to live, and we can’t wait to see what you’re growing in your gardens, balconies, hanging baskets and communal spaces. You can enter until 26 July. Winners will be invited to a reception, where they will receive a certificate and a gift voucher.

The organisations use the money to alleviate stress and other challenges caused by HS2. The Brandon Centre were awarded £100,000 to provide mental health training for organisations working with local young people, to help the young people cope with noise and disruption in their local area. Women & Health have been given money to develop a new community garden where local people can get growing. They aim to reduce the impact of lost green space, while helping people learn about the connection between gardening and good health. The £3.5 million fund was secured by the Council during the parliamentary stage of the HS2 Act. Grants are awarded by a panel of residents and a representative from HS2 Ltd. with support from Camden Giving, a local charity dedicated to ending poverty and inequality. New recipients of funding are announced every three months. To find out more go to 7

Top three things


this summer Best thing I’ve done recently

w On my mind right no

I’m looking forward to Camden is marching at Pride this year, on 6 July. Celebrating our LGBT+ community, but also making our voice heard as part of the continuing fight for social and economic equality. It’s been 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York, and Camden has a proud history of fighting prejudice and discrimination. There are lots of events, talks and opportunities to learn and celebrate going on around Camden and London – you can find out more at

The #wemakecamden event at the Greenwood Centre in April was inspirational – it was an incredible showcase of the talent and creativity of Camden – artists, poets, dancers, all making their voices heard. It just completely, and brilliantly, encapsulated our Camden spirit, and how much we can learn from each other and our diverse experiences.

In Camden we have declared a climate emergency. It is our responsibility to take real and radical action now, with our communities, to do all we can to avoid the worst impacts of global heating on our environment and society. We are holding a series of citizens assemblies, starting in July, to develop a new action plan for how we can collectively address the climate crisis.

Georgia Gould is Leader of Camden Council

How to... BBQ in a Camden Park

Invite up to 20 people – for more than 20 you You can use any Camden-run park, but not Hampstead Heath, Regents Park or Primrose Hill. need permission via

Choose a park for your BBQ

Bring your reusable charcoal BBQ, and water to put it out when you’ve finished cooking. Disposable and gas BBQs are not allowed.

Tidy up all your rubbish before you go, and recycle things if you can. 8

Put your BBQ on level ground, away from trees, houses, park furniture and other people.

When you’ve finished cooking, empty the cooled charcoal and ash into the BBQ bins where provided. Make sure the BBQ is cool before you try and move it.

Keep children, pets and games well away from the cooking area and don’t play amplified music.

Don’t leave the BBQ unattended while it’s hot.

Day in the life

Nick Maxwell is Case and Outreach Manager at forum+ (Formerly Camden LGBT Forum)

7am I’m not a morning person – I need two alarms to get me out of bed. Shower, coffee and porridge, then I feed my pet chameleon lizards and mourning geckos. I’m trying to be healthier these days, so I often walk to work.

10am No two days are alike for me, LGBT+ work does not run on a 9 to 5 schedule. One day I might be supporting a client to report LGBT hate crime, which could be anything from verbal abuse and physical attacks to criminal damage and threats. The next day I might be providing training to police and council staff.

1pm The timing of lunch is variable, but most days I bring in a salad from home and I always try to eat away from my desk.

2pm Our wonderful team of volunteers are crucial to our day to day work. Part of my job is recruiting, training and supervising them, before they engage in outreach or client work themselves.

6pm To find out more about the work of forum+, or to report a hate crime, go to forumplus., contact caseworker@ or telephone 020 7388 5720.

I’m either on my way to an evening meeting with other LGBT groups, or occasionally I’ll head to a pub to talk to people about their experience of hate crime. Up to 80 per cent of hate crime goes unreported – our goal is to change that. At times my work can be demanding, but it’s always rewarding to support individuals through a crisis and get them safely to the other side. 9

Have a clean and gre Top five tips for a green summer:


Get a reusable bottle and cup, and take them everywhere Download the Refill London app, which will help you find public water fountains and businesses where you can refill your water bottle. Lots of coffee shops offer discounts for using your own, reusable cup, saving you money as well as helping the environment.


 ake your recycling T home After you’ve eaten outside in one of Camden’s many green spaces, please take your recycling and rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly at home or your workplace.

 lan ahead P for picnics Don’t buy plastic tubs of pre-made food from the supermarket, make your own instead, and pack them into reusable tubs and jars. Your food will be fresher, healthier and greener.

3 Don’t use plastic bags Keep a fabric tote bag handy in your pocket or bag, ready to whip out at the checkout – and save yourself the 5p charge too. 10



 on’t waste food D while you’re away If you’re going away this summer, freeze food rather than waste it. Or you can donate food you can’t use to others via Camden’s first community fridge in the Sherriff Centre, West Hampstead NW6.

een summer

Rubbish and recycling

Check your collections and order recycling supplies online We’ve updated our website and it’s now much easier for you to check your bin collections, report a problem or order new recycling and rubbish supplies. You can even download a reminder to your phone calendar so you never forget to put your bins out. Check it out at


Recycling Fund

Funding for local green projects Get your free recycling bin sticker To make it easier for you, your family and any house guests to recycle items from all around the house, we’re providing free indoor recycling bin stickers. You can use them to label any bins you use for recycling. Order your sticker online today through our new website or pick them up from our information stands at community events across the borough throughout the summer.

Do you have a Camden-based project that makes your local environment greener, or inspires people to do the right thing with their waste? Through Veolia’s Recycling Fund for Communities, you could get a cash boost, in-kind resources, or staff volunteers to help bring your idea to life. Last year Veolia’s fund supported community initiatives across the borough including the installation of a communal bike store, promotion of plastic-free events, and turning derelict land into a community garden. If you’ve got a great idea email us at: 11

Focus on

Somers Town


Francis Crick Institute

St Pancras Old Church

Located between Euston and Kings Cross, Somers Town is home to a strong and vibrant community.

History Somers Town has a rich history – former residents include Charles Dickens and Mary Shelley. Immerse yourself in the local literary tradition with a visit to the British Library. Alternatively, see the Grade II listed modernist design of the Ossulston Estate, just a stone’s throw from the Francis Crick Institute. You can also pay a visit to the nearby St Pancras Old Church, thought to be one of the oldest sites of worship in Britain, with a peaceful churchyard that is perfect for a rest in the shade.

Summer festival Come and celebrate this lively part of the borough at the annual Somers Town Festival, a communityled day of food, fun, dance and live music. Performances will take place from Chalton Street to the British Library Piazza, where the Blockheads, of Ian Dury fame, will headline. There will be hiphop ‘grab the mic’ performances and music from a whole host of local talents. 12.30pm to 6.30pm on Saturday 13 July. 12

Library Pancras Square library has lots to offer – borrow books and DVDs, or join in with activities like chess club, ‘maths on toast’, or coding club. To find out more email

Community groups Laamiga Women’s Mentoring and Training help women from migrant and refugee communities to find a job, integrate with their community and pursue their dreams. To find out more or volunteer with Laamiga contact or call 020 8257 7317. Scene & Heard is a volunteer-led organisation that provides one-to-one mentoring to help local children write their own plays. Their visions then come to life when professional actors perform the work on stage. Visit to find out more, donate or volunteer.


Celebra ting

d in C a m At the end of the 19th century, most of the working people who lived in what is now Camden lived a whole family to a room. Homes were cheaply built and shoddy, in amongst factories giving off noxious fumes, with no proper ventilation or sewage. Without housing standards, they quickly became slums with appalling conditions. There were moves in the late 19th and early 20th century to provide housing to the working classes, but because the Government didn’t fund these developments, rents were too

high for the poorest people and only the ‘respectable’ working class in secure jobs could afford to live in them. The Housing and Town Planning Act 1919 was the first act to give funding to councils to build the homes that ordinary people could afford, to provide the ‘homes fit for heroes’ promised to the soldiers returning from the First World War. This summer is 100 years since this watershed act that gave councils the power and funding to build homes. More than 33,000 council

re just some of Camden’s c Here a ouncil homes from the years (and some a re even older than that!) last 100


homes later, including 2,000 street properties and 23 sheltered schemes, we are celebrating Camden’s own proud legacy in council housing. We’re celebrating you - our tenants, families, neighbours and communities who call Camden housing home. We’re celebrating our track record in building, our award winning estates, and that 100 years on and despite deep Government funding cuts, Camden is still building council housing our residents need through the Community Investment Programme.

Whitebeam, alder and hazel are Quiz n questio all types of what, and where in Camden would you find them? 1 GB 1934

1914-1918 1822

Woburn Walk

Camden’s oldest council street properties


Bourne Estate

WWI After the war Prime Minister Lloyd George promisesd ‘homes fit for heroes’ for returning soldiers



Housing and Town Planning Act 1919


Holly Lodge


Brook House and Cranleigh House 13

What do you know about…

The Maitland Park Estate Where: Gospel Oak Built: 1948 – 1961

Sandra Sandra moved in with her mother in 1961, who later helped to set up the tenants and residents association. Sandra and her neighbour are two of the block’s original tenants. Her work took her all over the world but she always came home to Maitland Park. “Maitland Park is a very special place. When we moved here it wasn’t even 20 years since the

“This estate is really rather lovely. I feel so lucky to be here.”

Quiz  ho is the only architect to have W question all of his UK developments listed? 2

Named after: Ebenezer Maitland, the president of an orphanage formerly on the site

end of World War II and there was great camaraderie between the neighbours who moved in from all across London. It is such a beautiful estate and it has been taken care of by tenants and the council. It’s a sign that people can get on together whatever part of the world, country or class they come from and those of us living here are very lucky to have been able Sandra in her garden at the Maitland Park Estate to live here and enjoy it.”

Quiz question 3

If you stacked all of Camden Council’s purpose built blocks on top of each other, how tall would they be?

Building homes for the future  Continuing Camden’s legacy as an innovative house builder, the homes we’re delivering through our Community Investment Programme are modern and equipped for the future.

On Agar Grove, our largest planned project, all 493 new build homes (216 will be council homes) will be ‘Passivhaus’ or ‘Passive House’ certified. Passivhaus buildings are

carefully designed and constructed to use significantly less energy for heating and cooling. This is achieved, for example, by using thicker insulation in the walls and higher performance tripled glazed windows that allow homes to be warmed by the sun in the winter but shaded in the summer. Improved energy efficiency means lower heating bills for residents, helping to prevent fuel poverty, and is also better for the environment.


Holborn and St Pancras are particularly badly damaged in The Blitz 14


Summer sun

Keeps heat out in the summer

Winter sun

Keeps heat in in the winter

How Passivhaus works

1960 1948




Tenants went on rent strike and marched in their thousands on the town hall in protest at rent increases




Alexandra and Ainsworth

Quiz question 4

What Camden estate is the largest listed building in England?

Making an empty property a home again While Camden builds homes through the Community Investment Programme, we are always trying to find other ways to provide homes for Camden residents. For the last 20 years we have been working with private homeowners to bring empty homes back into use. In the past five years Camden has helped homeowners bring 449 empty properties back into use.

the rooms are nice and modern and it’s a good environment,” said Alicia. If you own an empty property and would like support or advice on bringing your home back into use, contact 020 7974 4158

Some of these homes go to homeless households, ensuring that more and more people have a place they can call home.

We’ll be out and about this summer asking for our tenants’ and leaseholders’ views on resident safety. To sign up for emails about the resident safety consultation email


Dudley Court


Alicia Duncan and her daughter in their new home

Quiz question 5

Russell Nurseries

Celebrate a century of council housing at our Camden family fun days – turn to page 6 of the Camden summer guide to find out more.

Have your say about caretaking

Alicia Duncan is one of many private rented tenants who has benefited from a renovated empty property. “I was over the moon when we moved into our new home. We have been here for two years now and we all love it here. We have more space,

Family fun days

How many new council homes will be built by the Community Investment Programme?

In the winter we asked you what you think about your caretaking service – we listened to you and we are again asking your views, this time on what we think your improved caretaking service could look like. Have your say at camden. until 19 July 2019.

Community Investment Programme developments



Chester Balmore

2015 Netley




Cherry Court

The number of council homes built at each site to date


Getinvolved involved Get o Phottition e p com

Put Camden council housing in the picture

Celebrate 100 years of council housing with our photography competition. Get involved – we want old and new pictures, so rummage through old family photos or get snapping this summer and send us the picture that tells your story of council housing in Camden. There is also a special category for under 16s so encourage any budding young photographers you have at home to take part too.


Quiz answers

The best photos will be displayed at an exhibition and the winner will have their photo featured in the Camden Magazine and the virtual Camden People’s Museum. The museum will celebrate the people of Camden with stories, images, archive material, artwork and performance. To find out more visit

1. Types of tree – you will find them at the Maitland Park Estate where the blocks are named after trees (also Rowan, Hornbeam, Chestnut and Beech). 2.  Camden Council architect and resident Neave Brown – and they were all in Camden: the Alexandra and Ainsworth and Dunboyne Road estates and houses at Winscombe Street. 3.  14km – Camden has almost a thousand purpose built blocks ranging from 1 (Sturminster on Agar Grove) to 23 storeys (Bray, Burnham, Dorney and Taplow at the Chalcots). The average height of a Camden block is 5 storeys. 4.  Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, built by Neave Brown. 5.  1,100.

Send your competition entries to or post hard copies to Housing News, FREEPOST LBC MAILROOM by Friday 27 September 2019. Include your name, a contact phone number or email and a caption that answers the question ‘what makes your council house home?’ Unfortunately we won’t be able to return hard copies of photos, so if it’s your only copy, take a photo with your phone or scan it to email it to us. To find out more and for terms and conditions visit

Tell us your story

What’s next for council housing in Camden? On the 100th anniversary of council housing we’re asking Government work with us to help us build the different types of homes that our communities need. Camden is building 1,100 council homes through the Community Investment Programme but to make sure that everyone in Camden has a place to call home, we need powers and funding from Government to build, and build quickly – just as we did 100 years ago.



Maiden Lane 16


Bourne Estate



Agar Grove



Perhaps many generations of your family have lived on the same estate, or you’re new to the area and it feels like home already. Whether you’ve lived in Camden six months or six decades, we want to hear what Camden council housing means to you. Email or post to Housing News, FREEPOST LBC MAILROOM.

2018 14

Brayshaw House

Barrington & Lamble


2019 Abbey



Our people make Camden the place it is: unique and welcoming with a rebellious spirit. ‘We make Camden’ stands together with our communities, celebrates our diversity and gives everyone a voice. Whether you have lived in Camden all your life or recently moved here, we want you to share your experiences, memories, hopes, journeys and reflections about your time in the borough. The stories you share will form part of the We Make Camden campaign to celebrate Camden’s communities. So whatever your story, whether you have a memory of growing up or moving here, favourite place or reflection on your community, we’d love to hear it. Get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook using #WeMakeCamden. You can read some the stories people have shared so far on our website

Community grants The Communities Together fund is open for small grant applications. Up to £72,000 is available to support activities and events that bring different groups and communities together. Working in partnership with Camden Giving we’ve set up a quick and simple funding process. To find out more visit 17

Local jobs

Working in Camden: tree officer

Do you have any favourite trees? My favourite mature tree in Camden is one of the curly Elms in St. Pancras Gardens. Of the younger trees, we planted a Scots pine in Lincoln’s Inn Fields a couple of years ago and I’m always happy to see it doing really well.

Colleen O’Sullivan, one of Camden Council’s tree officers, patrols the borough, secateurs at the ready, carrying out inspections of Camden’s trees.

Are you still out and about in winter?

What does a tree officer do? Tree officers are trained to assess the risks trees pose to humans and property, as well as understanding how trees grow and the differences between species. We use this knowledge to make decisions on what tree work is necessary – a lot of thought and consideration goes into making the decision to remove a tree and to plant a new one.

What’s your typical day? I have a quick catch up in the office first thing, then I’m outside. I try to walk whenever possible and change my routes so I can check up on different trees. 18

To report a tree you’re concerned about to Colleen, or one of her colleagues, or to request a new tree go to camden. or to contact the tree team email  treesection@

In winter we do spend more time in the office, working on Camden’s tree database and other indoor projects. Last winter I also worked on tree planting for a couple of months, which was a great new challenge.

What about when you’re off duty? I can’t stop keeping an eye on trees – even when I’m not at work I still instinctively check the trees around me!

Mayor of Camden

Your new Mayor

Goodbye, and thank you As she bows out of her role as Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells leaves behind the legacy of having raised a record-breaking £90,000 for her charity, Camden Music Trust.

Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust is Mayor of Camden, 2019 to 2020. Maryam was born in Tehran and moved to London as a child. Her family made their first UK home in Kilburn, where she’s been a Labour councillor since 2010. Influenced by her own experiences with discrimination, Maryam has devoted her time on the council towards improving the lives of Camden people from marginalised sections of society. She has campaigned on race, gender and disability issues and led on policies to protect Camden residents.

The Mayor’s chosen charity for this year is Solace Women’s Aid, which offers support to to women and children in London – to help them build safe and strong lives, free from abuse and violence. Maryam said: “Domestic violence should have no place in Camden. I want to raise awareness and encourage people to speak out when they see signs of abuse. My aim is to put this issue firmly in the spotlight.”

“It’s been a great privilege to be the Mayor. I’ve seen Camden at its best,” said Jenny. Camden Music Trust supports the Camden Music Service to make sure all children in Camden can take part in musicmaking, regardless of family income or disability. Recently, Suggs agreed to become an ambassador for the trust, with a celebration at The Dublin Castle, the Camden venue where Madness started out. Jenny will also continue working with the trust by becoming a patron, now that her year as mayor has come to an end. 19

Local history

How I built a Camden council estate David’s orginal drawings for the estate from the 1960s

“I was trying to design the best council houses in London within budgetary restraints. It was a very interesting thing for an architect to do.” Born in Hampstead in 1931, Camden resident David Hyde-Harrison worked as an architect in the council’s architecture department, where he designed council homes including Kilburn’s Chevington Estate, built in 1966.

“I was allocated a plot and tasked with designing homes for 27 families. It was suggested I build a six storey block of flats, but I knew that the flats would have to be smaller to account for the lifts and hallway lighting, which cost a lot of money in electricity.”

Space for growing families “There were plans to have large communal gardens, but I knew from a housing project I had worked on in Essex that when children went out to play they wouldn’t be able to get back up to their flats because they couldn’t reach the button to call the lift. I knew there would be notices saying no football allowed, so I thought that all this empty ground was rubbish. “Having designed my own house, and having two young children, I felt it was vital to make the homes as big as possible so that growing families could be comfortable. “I worked out that I could house all of the families in houses rather than flats on the same site. I gave all of the houses gardens, which is much better than giving people huge shared areas they can’t use. 20

Light and variety “I added a slope to the roofs to give an extra 3 feet of room in the bedroom and to make the design a bit different. I like variety. I didn’t want things to be uniform, so I broke up the rhythm. I thought the houses should be a bit different from each other. “They also all have sun terraces and front gardens because I wanted to give the tenants a little extra within the cost. I felt that light was important, so I gave the houses skylights and large windows in living rooms that can’t easily be seen into from the street. There had recently been a breakthrough in the technology of glass production so it was easier to use these bigger sheets of glass and maximise the light. “I wanted the tenants living there to have the highest standard of home. I thought up all sorts of ingenious ideas – always trying to do odd things, having the roofs do funny things and so on to make more space and light. I thought I’d done jolly well.”

David on the balcony of one of the homes he built at the Chevington Estate

(All photos copyright of Kim Taylor

David came back to the homes he built and met Ken who has lived at the Chevington Estate for 13 years. Ken said: “It was really interesting to meet David and to learn some of the history of our home, and how it got its garden, good sized rooms and slightly quirky design.” Resident Ken with David at the Chevington Estate

After retiring, David has turned his attention to sculpture, and writing – with a focus on urban development and green belt issues. 21

West End Project

Working in the West End Andrew Helyer is a Principal Engineer on the West End Project, working to transform the area around Tottenham Court Road. What’s the most challenging part of your job? Keeping track of everything! This is the biggest public realm and highway transformational scheme Camden has ever delivered, so I have a lot of different priorities to juggle, many different disciplines to understand, and lots of different people who will be affected to consider.

What are you most proud of? I’m really proud to see the highway and traffic signal designs I’’ve worked on come to life on the ground. It’s also really rewarding to know that the project will benefit the local community.

What’s next for the project? Now that we’ve successfully introduced buses and cyclists southbound on the newly paved Tottenham Court Road, next year we’ll focus on preparing Gower Street, Bloomsbury Street and Princes Circus for two way traffic. This means we’ll be busy working with TfL on new traffic signals. Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street will have new stepped cycle tracks and York Stone paving, to improve their look and feel. Princes Circus will get an improved road layout and a much needed new green space where people will be able to sit and relax. 22

The facts  1 1,000 square metres of

paving laid so far – enough to cover around 48 tennis courts.  O ver 4,000 metres of

granite kerb stones laid so far – the height of 20 BT Towers.  A t our peak we’ve had

around 90 people on site – over the past year that equals more than 10,000 morning cups of tea and coffee.  1 2 new trees planted, and

more to come. Why not enjoy the shade of our new mature trees at Centre Point?

Foster caring

Making a difference Trevor Elliott is one of the youngest foster carers in the borough – at just 28, he’s already making an amazing difference to the lives of Camden teenagers. Fostering involves looking after a child who can’t live with their parents. The child lives with you in your home for anything from a few days to several years. Trevor is the founder of a not-for-profit youth organisation, so he was already working with teenagers when he applied to become a foster carer. He now fosters three boys, all aged 16 or 17. “When you work with young people in a youth centre you can clock off, but when you’re providing care in your own home it’s 24/7. When you see the progress they make on a daily basis, though, it’s very rewarding.

Become a foster carer Could you offer stability, and a warm and loving home? You don’t have to own your own home and there’s no upper age limit. We provide support and training, as well as a weekly allowance for each fostered child and a weekly fee for the foster carer. Read our fostering pages at to find out more, or contact us at fostering@camden. or 0800 028 1436 to talk to us about it.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done – it grew me up as a person.” Trevor felt comfortable taking in the boys because he felt that he had lots of support. “There are four social workers who visit me – so I’m constantly supported. There’s also the virtual school for looked-after children which monitors their progress. It has shown me not to be afraid as you’re not alone.” 23

The long read

Keeping our young people safe Five young people in Camden have lost their lives in knife incidents since 2017. What can we do to stop the cycle of violence?

164 102

2017 –TO– 2018

2018 –TO– 2019

Knife-crime related injuries in Camden dropped from 102 in 2017-2018 to 47 in 2018-2019.


Last year we published a report about how we plan to do this, which you can read at youth-safety-taskforce However, we know this needs to turn into urgent action on the ground to make a difference. This means a response from the whole community – all our different public services, charities, community clubs and residents working together. It means a commitment to a ‘public health’ approach – which means not looking at this issue just in terms of crime, but thinking about what we can do to prevent violence, while treating and offering better alternatives to young people caught up in it. We talk to two people who show what this looks like in reality – and the difference it is making.

In numbers 47

Camden, along with much of the UK, faces a huge challenge – to keep our young people safe.




46 2017 –TO– 2018

2018 –TO– 2019

Violent offences committed by Camden children dropped from 164 in 2017-2018 to 93 in 2018-2019.

Youth services

Youth safety action

We spend £5m a year on youth services – and we’re allocating an additional £500,000 to youth safety action.

projects bidding for funding

We received 46 bids to our Youth Safety Fund from charities, community organisations and schools to set up projects to prevent violence.

Local jobs The view from the police station

Emmanuel Umeh is part of a team of social and youth offending workers who go into police stations to talk to young people who are brought into custody. The offences range from minor incidents to serious knife-related crimes, but to Emmanuel and his team, the time that the young person spends in the police station represents an opportunity to talk to them, and to help them. They try to understand the motivations of the young person, set positive goals, and encourage them to talk to their family. “Some of them don’t fear their mortality, they don’t fear prison,” explains Emmanuel. “So it’s about finding a way to make subtle changes in their life and help them mature. Once we’ve engaged them, our work could lead to the child finding a job in a coffee shop, enrolling on a construction course, or getting involved in acting. “Whatever the end result, it feels like we’re getting in there earlier, addressing issues in children’s lives at an earlier stage and putting them at the centre.”

The view from hospital

John Poyton is Chief Executive of Redthread, a charity which puts trained youth workers into hospital emergency departments to provide support to young people with the complex issues they may face while they are being treated for violent injuries. The programme will start up at Camden’s University College Hospital later this year. “I was shocked when I discovered that no one had ever thought to put youth workers in an emergency department. It’s not rocket science, it just makes sense,” John said. “The key ingredients are: working in really close partnership with health colleagues, ensuring that we have local experts in each area – we recruit locally – and identifying the best agency to support the young person in the long term. “Young people are just like us – they like to be walked alongside and supported, not told what to do in an authoritarian fashion.”



Why don’t you…

…become a walk leader?

Every Monday, Richard Pilkington, a volunteer walk leader and Camden outdoor gym instructor, leads Camden health walks across Hampstead Heath.

What kind of people come on the walks? The majority of them are regulars, some of them have been coming for about 10 years - they probably know the Heath better than I do. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, young and old – it’s a whole variety!

What do you do as the leader? My main job is to make sure everyone stays safe and we don’t get lost – which can happen when everyone’s chatting! There’s also a social element, it’s all part of a mental health drive, people come both for the exercise and for the socialising. 26

 To find out more about becoming an outdoor fitness volunteer, email walking@camden. For information on walks and outdoor gyms: camden-health-walks outdoor-gyms

And what do you do as a gym instructor? I help people who may be inexperienced with the equipment to use it safely and comfortably.

How did you get involved in volunteering? I had a bit of a health scare, which served as a real wakeup call - a mixture of too much work and too much stress. As part of some major life changes I decided to become a walk leader after reading about it in the Camden magazine.

Local people

Keeping it simple Stamping out jargon in adult social care

When Jill Huntesmith took the role of Jargon Buster at Synergy, a local group who help make sure the voices of people with learning disabilities are heard, she decided she needed a helper. At the bottom of a toy basket in Camden Town, Jill and her colleague, Jackie, found the now aptly named Jargon John, who has become a firm staple with Jill at local meetings. Together they educate people on the importance of using simple, easy to understand language when talking to people with learning disabilities. Jill says: “I think that’s what I’m meant to do, speak up for people who can’t speak up for themselves. I want to stamp out the use of jargon so everyone can understand what’s being said.” The plain-speaking pair now have a following across the country, with fans sending in around 400 teddies to help Jill continue her work. She frequently awards people who speak in plain English with a teddy of their own.

Accessible language

The Greenwood Centre Synergy are part of Camden’s first Centre for Independent Living at the Greenwood Centre. The centre is run by disabled people for disabled people, and offers a range of services and activities that support independence, inclusion, health and wellbeing. For more about the Greenwood Centre, visit the-greenwood-centre

Synergy recognise that everyone has a role to play in making sure language is accessible for all. They educate professionals on how to communicate better, and recently worked with the British Association of Social Workers to develop national guidelines. To find out more about Synergy’s work, contact Brendan Leahy at brendan@ camdendisabilityaction 27

Useful numbers For press … then … options, first telephone Contact Camden (our customer services team) on 020 7974 4444. Advice and guidance Welfare rights advice 020 7974 3826/020 7974 1926 Freedom of information 020 7974 7857/020 7974 2269

Benefits and financial support Benefits press 3 then 2 Credit control 020 7974 6959 Local social fund 020 3324 0383 A government scheme to help people on low incomes meet their expenses

Building and planning Planning press 4 then 3 then 2 Building control press 4 then 3 then 3

Business Licensing press 4 then 3 then 1 Business rates 020 7974 6460

Children and families Family information and school services press 2 then 3 Camden school and nursery admissions School admissions 020 7974 1625

Complaints Complaints unit 020 7974 5644

Contacting councillors


Member support 020 7974 2792

Estate parking press 3 then 5 Vehicle clamped or removed press 5 then 3 Parking permits and suspensions press 5 then 4 then 3

Deaths Coroners court 020 7974 4545 Information on deaths, autopsies and inquests

Environment Green Camden helpline 0800 801 738 Free advice on reducing your environmental impact

Health WISH 020 7974 3012 Make a referral to a range of warmth, income, safety and health services

Housing Repairs press 3 then 1 General housing repairs for Camden tenants and leaseholders Housing advice press 3 then 3 Advice on housing including information for the homeless and those at risk Rents press 3 then 4 Tenancy queries press 3 then 5 Information for Camden tenants, including how to order or replace keys and fobs

Making a payment Payments press 1 then 1 Including parking fines, residential and travel payments Council tax press 4 then 1

Safety Camden Safety Net 020 7974 2526 Support on domestic abuse and sexual violence Safer streets team 020 7833 7970 Report rough sleepers and those involved in street activity to help us support them

Social care Adult social care press 2 then 1 Children’s social care press 2 then 2

Travel Blue badges, Freedom passes, accessible travel solutions and Taxicard press 2 then 4

Volunteering and skills Adult community learning 020 7974 2148 Voluntary Action Camden 020 7284 6550

Contact Camden is available 8am to 6pm for council enquires, and operates an emergency out of hours service on the same number. 28

What’s on

All activities are free unless otherwise specified. Event details may change. Check with the organiser before you attend.


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Wednesday 12 June and Wednesday 7 August, 7 to 9pm Join for a night of quick-fire creative challenges at London’s original and best live drawing event. £8. Booking essential.

Getting ready for and finding employment for women from minority ethnic backgrounds Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Come along to find out how to enrol for free training in employability skills, including English. Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre, 50-52 Hampstead Road NW1 2PY 020 7388 8198

House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square N1C 4BH 020 3696 2020

Knitting circle for over 55s NW Live: Music and Soul concert

SEND Skills Fayre Thursday 20 June, 11am to 2pm Exhibition of activities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), organised by students and involving organisations from across North London. Leighton College, Elfrida Rathbone Camden, 7 Dowdney Close NW5 2BP 020 7424 1601

Batsford: 175 years of a Bloomsbury publisher exhibition Until Friday 28 June (Monday and Tuesdays 10am to 6pm, Thursdays 10am to 7pm, Friday 10am to 5pm and alternate Saturdays 11am to 5pm) Exhibition telling the story of Batsford, a publisher specialising in illustrated books, set up in High Holborn in 1843. Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road WC1X 8PA 020 7974 4444

Friday 28 June, 7.30 to 10pm Performance of an original work, devised and performed by army veterans, and Stravinsky’s ‘Soldier’s Tale’ performed by NW Live Ensemble. £12. Free concession tickets available for Camden residents on a low income. Booking essential. Free Space Project, Kentish Town Health Centre, 2 Bartholomew Road NW5 2BX

Bedford Square Festival Wednesday 3 July to Saturday 6 July An array of free talks, workshops and tours celebrating the culture of the institutions based on Bedford Square. Booking essential. Bedford Square WC1B

Night of the 10,000m PB Saturday 6 July, 1 to 9.30pm Volunteer-powered annual celebration of 25-lap racing. The first race starts at 1pm, VIP Q&A talk at 6pm and championship races from 7.15pm. Parliament Hill Athletics Track NW5 1QR

Every Monday, 10am to 12 noon Drop-in for anyone who wants to learn to knit or sew, and have a chat with a cup of tea and biscuits. Millman Street Community Centre, 50 Millman Street WC1 3EW 020 7405 2370 (Andrew Rogers)

Boccia for beginners – over 50s

Every Thursday, 3.45 to 4.45pm Boccia is a precision ball sport, similar to bowls. Come along and try out a new way to get moving and meet new people. Abbey Community Centre, 222c Belsize Road NW6 4DJ 020 7624 8378

LGBT creative writing group for over 50s First and third Tuesday of the month, 3 to 5pm Warm, constructive and supportive writing together. This group welcomes new writers for writing exercise and a chance to read your own work. Opening Doors London Project, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square WC1H 9NA 020 7239 0400

Want to have your event listed in the autumn Camden magazine? Email 29

How to get into...

Swimming Find a pool in Camden Oasis, Bloomsbury  Outdoor heated pool, 27.5m, with sunbathing deck and outdoor sauna  Indoor pool, 25m  Chair hoists to allow easier access into the pool Pancras Square Leisure, King’s Cross

Summer is the perfect time to go swimming at one of the many pools in Camden. Beginners can sign up for lessons at their closest pool, and more serious swimmers can join a club. There’s a variety of water workout sessions for young and old – or you can just go along to your nearest pool and swim a few lengths. Swimming is a great way to keep fit, whatever your age or ability.

Swim for free   Young people can sign up for free swimming during the summer holiday, as part of the Energise and Get Wise programme: uk/children-young-people   Camden residents aged 60+ can swim free on weekdays from 7am to 12pm at our Better leisure centres with a valid pay & play membership. P&P concessionary card is £5.40: getswimming


 Swimming with a disability

There are dedicated swimming sessions for people with disabilities at Swiss Cottage and Kentish Town, as part of the Active For All Programme:   Starfish swimming club, 7 to 8pm, Swiss Cottage   Swimming, 5 to 6pm, Kentish Town   Fleetwell Swimming Club, 6 to 7pm, Kentish Town camdenactiveforall

 Main swimming pool, 25m  Smaller heated learner pool  Chair hoists to allow easier access into the pool Kentish Town Sports Centre  The Willes pool, 30.5m, one of London’s most historic baths  The Grafton pool, 25m  Shallow pool for water sensory and intro to water  State of the art pool pods to allow easier access into the pool Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre  Indoor pool, 25m  Teaching pool  Camden Swiss Cottage Swimming Club  State of the art pool pods to allow easier access into the pool Hampstead Heath  Parliament Hill Lido  Open air bathing ponds (mixed, ladies’ and men’s) Central YMCA, Fitzrovia  Indoor pool, 25m

My Camden

Costas Louis is a dementia befriender for Age UK Camden

What’s your Camden connection?

What’s your favourite Camden

I have been a Camden resident for over four decades. My parents were Greek, and I was born in Alexandria, Egypt. I came to the UK for my final exams, and to work as a wireless operator in the navy. But the week I landed they announced teleprinting – all of those years studying morse code, and suddenly a machine could do it.

In the summer I love having a quiet drink in Queen Square. It’s so beautiful – you’re in the middle of London and all you see is trees. You don’t see that in any other capital in Europe.

I volunteer for Age UK. As part of that, each month I take a lady to see a concert. It makes me happy to be useful. I also help to support other carers, as part of the steering group for Camden Carers and I mentor international graduate students, and sit on the town hall panel for educational admissions.

Tell us about your volunteering work


What’s the best thing about Camden? I like how rich the history is, so many important people have lived here, and I love how central it is, everything is easy to get to. Do

you have a favourite Camden memory? I used to live on Cleveland Street near the post office tower. It was a lovely experience visiting the revolving restaurant at the top, where you could see the whole of London laid out before you.

If you’d like to become a dementia befriender email 31


Free and low-cost activities for everyone – pull-out guide inside #WeMakeCamden @CamdenCouncil #WeMakeCamden @CamdenCouncil LBCamden LBCamden

Profile for Camden Council

Camden magazine summer 2019  

Camden magazine summer 2019